Good morning, 2013, and welcome to the universe! Even though time is a fabrication of man, it’s nice to have you around. It’s like you’re a a sexy cyborg or something – we’ve created you and you’re awesome, but you’ve become too useful for your own good, while under the guise of framework and structure, you slowly and nefariously grind away at the species until you’ve outlived us all. When that day comes, you evil prick, you’ll have no one to torment, and how is that gonna feel? That’s right, like shit. So F you 2013! Selfish jerkass.
So what do I want to do with myself this year? I have three goals.
1. I will write more music than I play video games.
This is important because I found myself in front of the TV more than the Computer this last year and that shit ain’t right. Ivonne has inspired me; she’s got such amazing talent and she’s constantly working on her craft. She’s always fine-tuning, getting better, looking for ways to grow. Me? I just mew about my own head being depressed that I don’t know how to do what’s in that same head. The result? Do shit, son. That’s the only way you’re gonna learn. So, I sat there on New Years Day and cooked up a demo that I’ll soon file away for later and start working on another track. One a month is my goal. Not full, finished tracks, but demos. Shit that only Spencer and Tom and Ivonne will hear for feedback. I will say this: Irulan definitely has a “sound” to it. What’s sad is that nobody has heard it but Spencer and I. This, I swear, will change.
2. I will learn to do yoga!
Ok, here’s another important one. I have the flexibility of rebar, so if I want to challenge myself to greater daredevil bedroom antics, I’m gonna have to limber up a bit. Yoga seems the way to go. Besides, I get to wear Yoga Pants and that’s hot. Carolin! I’m gonna be calling you shortly to get a Beginner’s Yoga Primer. Ivonne has some phenomenal suggestions, so we’re going to start and see where it goes.
3. I will write more.
It’s so much fun to go back in time (there she is again!) to reminisce about the coolest moments of years past, I just don’t document them very much. I just get lazy and sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit in front of this screen and pour out the bullshit. But it’s therapeutic and helps me remember, so fuck all and make it happen. That’s the key!
Otherwise, there’s lots of shit I want to do this year, none of which is even remotely worth discussing at this juncture because it’s so far out there in Possibility Land that even prepping for them is pointless. Focus on what I CAN control and let the rest flow.
Oh, one more thing. I gotta get that fucking telescope to work. Jesus.
I don’t want to write the words Sandy Hook, or Newtown or Connecticut or shooting or 20 kindergartners and first graders or six teachers or guns or fuck you FUCK YOU FUCK YOU or any of those things that would make this moment live indelibly in my own cyberspastic corner, but there they are. I suppose it’s best to get them out there and be done with it.
I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, I believe that we as humans find ways to make positivity out of the chaos around us – from the incomprehensibility of finding our husbands and wives somewhere in this ocean of humanity to the mind-blowing improbability of that which is the unconditional love of six year old girl who calls you Daddy… These amazing accidents are the things for which I live, because this is all I have, there is nothing else. This is my heaven.
I cannot imagine having it taken from me.
Every single day as a parent is a challenge. Am I getting through to her? Am I saying the right things? Am I educating instead of disciplining? Am I firm instead of angry? Am I encouraging the positive, discouraging the negative, and helping filter the good from the bad? Am I letting her be a kid? Is she having a good life? Will she grow up and remember, long after I’m dead and gone, about how she felt when she called Santa on the phone to ask him if she was still on the Nice List, even though she hadn’t cleaned her room?
In our township, the local Fire Department gets a guy to dress up like Santa and ride around the neighborhoods in a fire truck decked to the hilt with Christmas lights, blaring Christmas songs, waving to the kids that happen to run outside for a glimpse at the great Bringer of Presents and Joy. You can hear them coming, literally a mile away, but for some reason it didn’t click what was going on until almost too late. I jumped out of my chair, went crashing down to the side door as I yelled to Reza, “REZA! IT’S SANTA ON THE FIRE TRUCK! HE’S OUTSIDE!”
I hear this little voice scream, “WHAT?!” and she comes barreling up the stairs, dressed only in a nightgown. I scoop her up in my arms – it’s rainy and cold and she’s got no shoes on – and we rush outside… just in time to see Santa ride by right in front of our house. Lights everywhere. Sound crashing through the trees. And we’re the only ones on the street.
We stood there in our driveway and we screamed at the top of our lungs. Santa! Santa is here! And as he waved to her with both of his huge hands, larger than life, he blew kisses while one of the fire department entourage came up and gave this little girl – this beautiful little girl with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen – a simple Candy Cane that she gripped so tightly I swear it turned to diamonds in her fist.
Between last night and just right now, it’s dawned on me that this is probably the last year she’ll believe in Santa. All of her other little friends are starting to let the secret slip, so I know she’s not far behind. Doing everything I can to selfishly extend the innocence just a little bit longer, we “called Santa” later that evening, because someone was a tap concerned she’d lost her coveted place on the nice list.
“Dad, why do have Santa’s number?”
Well, all Dads get Santa’s number when we become Dads, but we’re only supposed to use it on special occasions because he’s very busy. Besides, being that he was in town, I figured I could take a moment to give him a call because he’s right here and I know he’s got time to talk.
“But Dad, that wasn’t the Real Santa. The Real Santa is at the North Pole, not the guy on the Fire Truck.”
Ok, maybe you’re right.
It’s just a matter of time before she puts two and two together for the first devastating moment of her childhood. I just wish I could extend it a bit more, you know? But there are some things from which even the protection of a parent cannot prepare her, and my job is to help her build a thinking and feeling process to try to understand the world around her so she, too, can appreciate and embrace the chaos of this tiny blue planet, to somehow find love and happiness, even if it’s a world without Real Santas.
I just don’t know how to prepare her for these kinds of days.
As individualistic as we naturally are, we can’t deny being a part of a larger greatness, a humanity engaged with our environment as a simple cog in a universal machine. Thankfully, we’re more than that. We have the cognitive and emotional capacity to determine right from wrong, to separate life from survival, and to recognize the ugliness in beauty or the love in hatred. We cannot and will not agree on all things – and for this I’m eternally grateful, because I’d rather jerk off with sandpaper than listen to Justin Bieber – but these certain societal “rights” you hold so sacred are dictated by the fallible and imperfect logic of a bygone age while being bastardized as defenses for actions that are truly unfathomable.
This has become a religion for you, a dogma that is to be worshiped, whispering promises of regret.
So you can have your guns. I don’t want them. I don’t want any part of them. I will live above this incessant need to pretend that owning a firearm makes us safe. And for those of you who believe that rights are being infringed upon by those of us who feel that it IS in the best interest of society to ban an assault rifle, put down your gun and pick up a megaphone – your rights have already been infringed upon by bullshittery like the NDAA and you refuse to take notice. Where is your rage? Do you think shooting your uzis in the air strikes fear into the heart of your tyrannical government, that you won’t be pushed around? Pay attention. Take action in arenas where you can make a difference, not in a dusty antiquated closet where you will slowly find your convictions outdated and unnecessary, because you cannot create a valid argument behind why you should own an object solely in existence for the purposes of extinguishing the existence of others.
Some would argue, like Mike Huckabee, that this is incident is an indictment upon a society that has removed God from schools. I would point to the Spanish Inquisition. Some would argue that if the Principal had a gun in her office, she may have saved the lives of everyone. I would point the reason why she didn’t – because education is the foundation of society and violence has no place in it beyond learning from our mistakes.
But we haven’t learned from our mistakes. Instead, we’re repeating them over and over and over again under the guise of foundational rights.
Look, I don’t have answers. I can barely ask the questions without losing my composure. The puzzle of mental health, gun ownership, societal violence and the values of this country are not going to be answered here, not by a guy that makes buttsex jokes every chance he gets, but please, – and regardless of where you stand on this, I love you – please stop and think about how you would feel if your son walked into my daughter’s school with your gun.
My daughter, who loves Santa Claus and her cats. My daughter, whose favorite shows are baking tutorials on YouTube. My daughter, who is building her first gingerbread house tonight. My daughter, who I love with all the fire and brilliance of ten thousand suns.
Shot. With your gun.
Every one of those parents in Connecticut loved their little boy or little girl the way I love mine.
So let’s go fix this.
Yeah yeah, I’ve been neglecting the blog again. When I get downtrodden, bored or generally despondent, this is usually the first thing to go. Sorry about that; I’m trying to change that dynamic.
So much shit has transpired between now and the last post I wrote, there’s no possible way to recap with any real significance. Reza is in Karate now. We’ve been to San Diego and back. I’ve imposed a moratorium on Beer for the foreseeable future and it feels really good not to be so bloated and pissy all the time. I hate to say it, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that my body just doesn’t process the alcohol like it used to and the things I love about Beer are outweighed by the way it makes me feel. The only thing I really know is that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to drinking Beer the way I once did. Here and there, on special occasions, with special people, sure, but four bottles of rare Belgians every weekend? Nah. Can’t do it anymore. Besides, I’ve lost a few pounds, and that’s always a nice side benefit, yeah?
This year has been a massive agent for change, all across the board. Friendships have blossomed, others have waned, still others are constant as a rock. Ivonne and I endured a massive shift in our lifestyle only to have it cause the biggest rift in our relationship. That whole situation was pretty terrible. Not in the “holy shit we almost got divorced” way, but in the “holy shit, what is this tension” way, and that’s bad for us. We don’t have tension, she and I. We communicate very very well and sure, we get on each others nerves time and again, but if we’re not talking for four months, then something is very very wrong. It’s a testament to her resilience that she was able to help us focus, address the issues, see the path and get on it. Simple as that. Me? I’ve never in my life had a sleepless night that wasn’t drug induced until that conversation; I had to learn a lot of things about myself in a very short period of time. Glad it happened.
So now we’re back to being us – buttsex jokes and constant attachment, but now with a renewed sense of purpose. Funny how we tend to find ourselves on track when we need it most…
I had an interview with a software company in Berlin a few weeks ago. I’m trying really hard not to get ahead of myself, but I can’t help being excited. The interview went very well (or so I think) and what they need is exactly what I do; it really does feel like an Almost Perfect situation, but there’s a lot to think through. The problem is that I don’t want to get all crazy with planning and preparations and shit without having a job offer and a visa. That’s a three-month process in and of itself, but I’m starting to get the impression that if I don’t hash this shit out in my head, I’m going to find myself under the gun again, and I don’t want that; there’s lots of lessons from the last move that we can use to make this one easier.
See? I’m talking like it’s going to happen. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, because if this crashes, I’m gonna be bummed. I can’t help but think, though, that it’s better to be excited and deal with the aftermath if it doesn’t work out, than be all pessimistic and allow cynicism to rule. I just can’t do that.
Beyond this opportunity, there are a couple irons in the fire, but nothing even remotely as far along as this, which is saying much, ’cause this Berlin thing is still in it’s infancy.
Shit, I really want that to happen.
We’ve never gotten along, August and me, because I don’t like Summer either and those two are thick as thieves.
One of the few cool things about the East Coast – besides friends and compatriots – are the seasons. The instant you become embittered over the swamp ass and mosquitoes, Fall turns the corner and all things become peaceful, colorful and a general delight to the senses. I’d love to be able to hang out in my back yard more; I’d supremely enjoy opening the windows and letting a crisp autumn breeze cleanse the house of recycled air, but we’re still a few weeks away.
Ah, Fall. Fall is the best.
That is, of course until you start raking leaves. F you leaves.
Tomorrow is the last day with Ivonne’s parents in town, which marks the official end of the Japexican Invasion. Reza sleeping in her own bed pays immediate dividends in the form of sleep and sex, but it’s a subconscious reminder that nobody’s sleeping in her room anymore and we’re back to a family of three.
Our house seems suddenly too quiet and too empty.
I’m on the fence about how to counter the inevitable depression that is to follow; it’s going to be very hard for Ivonne to avoid falling into slight loneliness, with the explosion of noise and vibrancy suddenly and deafeningly gone. Silence is the constant reminder of family and friends that love you, care for you, value you and unconditionally accept you, but will always be thousands of miles away. She’s not used to that, and it’s hard on her. I wish I had the answer.
But the good news is that we’re San Diego bound in two months, so at least we have a goal on the horizon. More on that later…
For now, though, I’m really looking forward spending a LOT of quality time with her and Reza, more so than I’ve been able to do for the last few months. Reza’s heading off to Kindergarten this year, and even though her school is a half-day and right around the corner – literally, not figuratively – moving from having your child around you all day every day to five days a week in someone else’s care can be disconcerting. Something to take into consideration as the weather turns.
This means holing myself up in the basement watching the Cardinals lose is not a good idea on many levels.
I’m not used to having a lot of space within which to work, to exist, so cohabitate. (Spellcheck says that’s wrong. I call shenanigans.) Upstairs, downstairs, outside – they’re all contributors toward a singularity that is very unfamiliar in our family. Ivonne lived in an 800 square foot one-bedroom apartment when I met her. We moved into a 1200 square foot two-bedroom when we had our child, and now we live in a God Knows What monstrosity (for us) with stairs and yards and driveways and garages and what the fuck is all this shit?
I liken the feeling to Edmund Dantes sleeping on the floor because he can’t get used to the soft bed; I want to bring all the distractions to the same space so that if we do things separately, we’re still together. If I want to play Mass Effect while she’s on the computer, we’re not three floors apart. That kind of segregationalism is not conducive to the feeling of togetherness that we’ve cultivated – purposely? subconsciously? – up to this point.
There are two options, really: rearrange shit or rearrange time.
I need to talk to Ivonne about it. That’s really all I know right now, but I’m sure we’ll come up with a creative solution.
Anyway, I started this section with a lamentation on the fact that family is leaving and Ivonne will be sad, but there’s another perspective here: We’re back to our core, our triangle, our family… we’re going to maximize our time in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s super exciting! Expect more to come on those adventures later.
Dead Can Dance on Sunday Night! Wooo!
Thought I’d throw that out there. Is it bad I haven’t heard the new album yet? Lamer.
But! This playlist on Spotify – IDM Softies? – is pretty good. It’s a bit granola in spots with the ambient folk business, but overall, not too shabby. I’ve already written down a few tracks that I’d like to hear again, so that’s a positive for sure. Speaking of tracks to hear, I can’t stop listening to Immoveable Objects’ I’ll Know To Believe in Sparrows. The first three tracks are amazing, but the rest of it is just as good. It really makes me miss being home.
Just one more drop of impetus into the lake of inevitability.
For now, I’ll write music with Spencer long-distance until it’s short-distance and I’ll go home tonight to hug my girls.
The evening can’t come soon enough. Or October.
Fuck you, August.
I have no clue why that popped into my head just now, but visions of Michelley running around her yard in naught but a towel is probably the subliminal culprit, so I blame libido.
They say that men think about sex over 35 times a day. I’ve always found fault with this statistic, as the results are manipulated by the observation of the experiment, a la Quantum Physics. So if you tell a guy, ok, check it: we want you to note every time you think about sex during the day. Blam! You just made me think about it! Does that count? And exactly what is considered a thought about sex? Michelley in her bathrobe in the front yard? Maybe. Michelley, Dream Weaver, a hair flip and four bottles of squeezable mayonnaise? Definitely. See how easy it is to get from A to B? I find the whole thing unfair mind you, but nevertheless, the damage is done.
One down, thirty-four to go.
But! Now that the in-laws are safely in New York, I can go from thinking to doing, and believe you me, doing needs to happen. Part of the joy that comes along with visiting family are the extraneous preparations that outline such a gathering. Who’s sleeping where? Why is there a can of Hormel Chili in the refrigerator? Who the shit left the toilet seat up? (Not it!) And with the Parentals in Reza’s room while Bee and the boys are upstairs, that leaves Reza to decide, nightly, whether she wants to sleep in the spare bed and fight Sai for the purple pillow or throw elbows into our necks three to four times a night.
“You’re getting cockblocked again tonight. You know that right?”, Ivonne says with more than a wistful look. “Besides, I’m fucking beat.”
You’re not the only one that’s going to be fucking beat. Prepare yourself, Penis!
However, here we are, almost two weeks into the Japexican Invasion and all is going rather well. It’s been nice having the family around, and while evident that the relationship between Ivonne and her Dad closely mirrors the relationship between Sai and Reza, I think it’s been really good for everyone to be together. Sai and Reza antagonize each other to no end, but those moments when all three kids seem to be completely comfortable with their places in the hierarchy are priceless. Same goes with Ivonne and her Dad. When he’s not purposely trying to fuck with her by saying shit like, “hey, why don’t you put Reza in a good Catholic school?” or, despite the vasectomy, “You really should think about having more kids”, those two are right as rain. I think it’s been harder this time around because, well, her parents are getting older and being bored out of your skull, outside of your comfort zone, isn’t cool for anyone, let alone Parents would would much rather be watching their Novellas from the comfort of the easy chair, not the patio furniture in my basement.
Speaking of which, she bought this new bra the other day. It’s awesome. The cup size made her go Linda Blair for a second, but this is a fundamental difference between men and women. If the tailor said, “Sir, your Penis is just too large for a size 36; we’re going to have to put you in a 44″, we’d cheer like Rudy was getting his first and only sack. Women, though, if you say, “Ma’am, you’re not a 36B, you’re really a 32D” then weeping and gnashing of teeth ensue. On almost every fundamental level outside of logic, I don’t understand this reaction: You hold in your hands the Magical Key to Unicorn Land and decry the possibility that it might also raise the dead, heal the sick and pour beer directly onto my parched tongue? You will find no sympathy here.
Things with Ivonne and I have been phenomenal since we did some very deliberate and uncomfortable soul searching a few weeks ago, and frankly, a lot of the consternation that had been building for a few months came down to how I was reacting to being pinned down, working my ass off in a place that neither of us have any desire to be, let alone think about raising our family. It’s funny – Ivonne and I don’t fight. We work though things, sure, but rarely do we have moments when we don’t see eye to eye. Usually, and I’ve got no problem admitting it, the root cause lies in the rationalizations I build up to justify actions that I know aren’t healthy. Drinking too much disguised as “winding down”. Spending entire Saturdays in the basement playing Mass Effect under the blanket of “it was a long week.” That doesn’t cut it in a healthy relationship, especially when the rationalizations don’t hold up after a few weeks and the tone starts getting sharper, the patience level drops, the unwillingness to see other perspectives dissipates and the desire to fix the problems succumb to laziness. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to realize all the justifications in the world can’t make you believe you’re happy.
Saying it makes it real; we both breathed a big sigh of relief when we realized that it’s simply time to go home.
Fuck. Ivonne’s Boobs again.
Anyway, really. It’s time to high-five each other in congratulations of a successful adventure, but let’s close the books on this and get the hell out. Nobody in their right mind can fault us for doing what we’ve done or making the choices we have, but now that we’ve got a bit of stability to back up the desire, pack up the wagons, kids, ’cause there’s land out west. This isn’t about putting our tail between our legs and whimpering back to the crusty doghouse. This is about realizing we’re losing ourselves by trying to make the best of it and for what? What’s the endgame? What was it for? Does it really take two years to substantiate an investment? Nope.
So the wheels are in motion. Slowly, deliberately, but surely, we’re making arrangements. Granted, it’ll take a while to make it happen, and maybe a triumphant return isn’t in the cards, but with diamonds all along the west coast – from Seattle and Portland to San Francisco and San Diego – we’re eventually going to find something shiny. And in any one of those places, I’d be happier than a penicillin rep on a dock in Manila to settle down and chill for the long term. The key? So would Ivonne.
Who has great.. fuck.
Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna tell Ivonne what I want my blog to look and act like, and I’m just gonna write. That’s it. I don’t want to worry about the aesthetics. I just wanna write.
So yeah. Bitches!
… neglecting again, I know, but look, I’ve been absolutely lambasted with work and home and the move and setup that something had to give. I’ll be back on it soon, I swear.
But today is my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. I remember talking to her about it last year because there had been a big surprise party for her 79th and we were thinking about what kind of shindig we could rock for the big 8-0. When she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we knew deep down she wouldn’t make it this far, but she came damned close.
We’d promised that we’d celebrate her birthday together but necessity trumped all. We’ll be heading down to celebrate her life during Thanksgiving.
I can’t write much more about it right now, but soon. She was such an amazing woman, there’s no way to begin, really.
Happy Birthday, Granny. You are so amazing and loved and beautiful and divine. I miss you every day.
I’m drinking a little more than I should, later in the evening than I should be up, talking my brother into going in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet and holding his shit in until he literally can’t hold it any more and shits himself.
I can’t stop laughing.
These are the moments I live for.
a mini bio will go here. kneel before Zod!